In North America, over 17.7 million adults have asthma while in 2013, over 217,000 people had rhinoplasty. Having asthma will not make a person less suitable for rhinoplasty, or surgery in general since it’s possible to control or anticipate the likelihood of an asthma attack before it happens.
Avoiding allergies and monitoring general health
There are a few different types of asthma, such as:
- Allergy induced asthma
- Exercise-induced asthma
- Nighttime asthma
Allergy induced asthma can be avoided by carefully replacing equipment and materials used during surgery, which also contains the allergent, with ones that won’t trigger a reaction. In particular, doctors are vigilant about allergies to latex or anesthetics, although that’s statistically rare.
Monitoring and controlling asthma
Like many medical conditions, asthma can be controlled through good habits, including:
- Responding to symptoms as they appear
- Avoiding asthma triggers
- Not relying on over-the-counter medications that provide immediate relief for asthma symptoms
In the weeks leading up to surgery, you and your doctor will review how well candidates have been managing symptoms and episodes, and those who are doing well should have less risk upon surgery.
Pulmonary function tests
In addition to reviewing personal habits, there are ways to get an empirical measurement of how well a person’s lungs are working. The test will measure:
- Expiratory reserve volume
- Lung capacity
- Diffusion capacity to carbon monoxide
- Peak expiratory flow
among other things.
Preoperative steroids helps with inflammation
Inflammation is the immune system’s response to fight off infection. Part of the process of inflammation is to destroy non-functioning or poorly functioning cells, and it does this through a number of ways, such as raising body temperature. At the same time the body’s repair functions are triggered, unfortunately inflammation is uncomfortable and can constrict airways, which is what happens to asthmatics.
Steroids, or corticosteroids in particular, slow the release of inflammation inducing chemicals. To reduce postoperative swelling, many surgeons performing rhinoplasty will use steroids before surgery, which doubles as a safety net for those who suffer from asthma.
On the day of the procedure, normally prescribed medication for treating asthma should be present; however, it’s not necessary or even encouraged to use the inhaler before undergoing anesthesia.
Asthma is one condition that requires special coordination between the patient’s family doctor and cosmetic surgeon. Clearance is required beforehand, but once that’s obtained, then there’s nothing to worry about except to take good care of one’s personal health.